Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Household Hazardous Waste
Describes non toxic alternatives to hazardous household products (for example, club soda instead of chemical carpet cleaner).

Disposal of Hazardous Household Waste
How to spot a hazardous household product before you buy one, and how to dispose of products you have bought.

Hazardous Waste Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)
A service of the EPA, this site provides technical information on waste management and cleanup.

Possible Solutions for Hazardous Waste

Basically, there are two approaches to addressing the challenges of hazardous waste. One is waste management, and the other is waste prevention.

Waste Management: Minimizing the Impact
Waste management is based on the premise that a high volume of waste is the unavoidable result of our modern lifestyle and of economic development. The objective is therefore to manage waste and minimize its impact. Waste-management strategies include burying or incinerating waste or exporting it to some other state or country.

Waste Prevention: Minimizing the Volume
Preventing waste is a kind of "front-end" approach; it views waste either as material that should not be created in the first place or as a potential resource that can be used as raw material for another process. The fundamental objectives of this approach are to reduce the use of new raw materials and energy and to recycle waste products back into usable resources.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, the waste-prevention approach should have the following hierarchy of goals:

1. Reduce waste and pollution.
2. Reuse as many things as possible.
3. Recycle and compost as much waste as possible.
4. Chemically or biologically treat or incinerate waste that can't be reduced, reused, recycled, or composted.
5. After the first four goals have been met, bury what is left in state-of-the-art landfills or above-ground vaults. .

[Back to Hazardous Waste]     [Next: Sewage]

     

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